That distinctive shade of orange packaging is recognizable even at a distance, even when captured on a long lens camera as the precious cargo is whisked away. When the Malaysian police seized more than 350 boxes and bags filled with money, jewellery and designer handbags from the country’s former prime minister, Najib Razak, on Friday morning, those Hermès boxes were unmistakable.
Understanding the value of their luxury hoard, the police have taken great care in handling the load. Each box has been lovingly wrapped in cellophane and labels with model, colour and material. The bags in question are assumed to belong to Razak’s wife Rosmah Mansor who has been seen carrying Hermès Birkin bags in the past.
Remember Imelda Marcos’ legendary haul of 3,000 designer shoes? Well, Malaysia’s former PM had a luxury handbag collection to rival it. And, just like Marcos and her heels, Razak’s wife’s bags are just as contentious.
It’s been reported that the police took away five trucks-filled with valuables key to a corruption and money-laundering investigation that has Razak at the centre. The scandal is over an estimated $7.5 billion that is missing from a government investment fund. Authorities have suggested that it was deposited into the ex-PM’s personal bank account. Talk about shady.
The Malaysian director of police, Amar Singh, told local reporters, 'We confiscated 284 boxes containing handbags,' adding, 'We also confiscated 72 luggage bags which contain cash of various denominations, jewellery and other valuables.'
Between 2009 and 2018 Razak served as prime minister but was defeated in his re-election bid last week and is now, along with his wife, barred from leaving the country